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Our Story: Victorian short list

Read about the six books on the Our Story Victorian short list.


By Robyn Annear

Bearbrass was one of the local names by which Melbourne was known. In a lively and engaging style, Robyn overlays her reinvention of Bearbrass with her own impressions and experiences of the modern city, enabling Melburnians and visitors to imagine the early township and remind themselves of the rich history that lies beneath today's modern metropolis.

Radical Melbourne

By Jeff Sparrow and Jill Sparrow

Why does Parliament House contain gun slits, an escape passage and a dungeon? What city block covers 9000 corpses? Radical Melbourne traces the history of political struggle and activism in Melbourne by revealing the radical histories of inner-city streets and buildings – turning familiar landmarks into monuments to passionate struggles of the past.


By Brendan Gullifer

Money. Lust. Real estate. Sold follows the fortunes and misfortunes of three real estate agents as they jostle, thrive and try to survive in this tricky industry. Failed AFL footballer Will is looking for redemption. Former car dealer Harry just wants to pay the kids' school fees. And Dally wants it all – money, the girl, and the warm glow that comes from being seen as a good bloke.

The comfort of water

By Maya Ward

This is the joyful yet heartbreaking true story of four friends who walk a 21-day pilgrimage from the sea to the source of Melbourne's Yarra River. Maya Ward's lyrical exploration of her river as it winds through the city and the wild is a revelation; a testament to the fact that the greatest of worlds are often at our doorstep.

Unpolished gem

By Alice Pung

An original take on a classic story - how a child of immigrants moves between two cultures. It combines the story of Alice's life growing up in suburban Footscray with the inherited stories of the women in her family - stories of madness, survival and heartbreak. Original and brave, this is a girl's own story that introduces an unforgettable voice and captures the experience of Asian immigrants to Australia.

Well done, those men

By Barry Heard

This memoir attempts to make sense of what Vietnam did to the soldiers who fought there. It deals with the comic absurdity of their military training and the horror of the war they fought, and is unforgettably moving in recounting what happened to Barry and his comrades when they returned home to Australia.

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